Hello all,

Well, the first portion of our journey was uneventful.  Our trip from Coch to Santa Cruz to Miami to Charlotte to Lynchburg was all on time.  We arrived short one bag, but received it back the next afternoon.  The Youngs picked us up, and have been very hospitable to us.  They are a lot of fun.  My first weekend was spent doing schoolwork at a heavy rate to get caught up, but it has slowed slightly since.

I finished one course, Middle School Curriculum, which was interesting and boring at the same time.  My head is not yet in the mood to be academic, and I fear my grade will reflect that, but I am praying that the course will be passed, and I can move on and do better on the next one.  At this point, we are both looking forward to returning to Canada to see everyone and get relocated and settled.

I feel that my weekend may again be fraught with homework and other items that I need to get caught up on.  I am hoping to have some time off, however, to depressurize.  Even if the pressure is only lifted for a day or so.

Eliana is enjoying her time here as well, but is much more bored than I can be.  She’s enjoying the time, however, to be back in North America, to find a few clothes and things we couldn’t get in Bolivia.

Anyways, I must continue to work.  Please pray for me as I go through these next two weeks of classes, for concentration and motivation.  Also, we are still looking for an apartment in Charlottetown, so that God would provide the right fit for us there.

Ciao for now, (hey, that rhymes..)

Craig

Hello All,

Some of you may have received this letter via email, but for those of you who did not, we have posted it here.  This will probably be the last update letter that we send out, but we will be trying to keep the blog relatively up-to-date in the following months, and hopefully permanently.

Here’s the letter…

__________________________________________________________________

Hello Family & Friends,

Well, it certainly has been an eventful period since our previous letter. School finished at the end of May in a whirl-wind of exams, final papers, and report cards. A few weeks earlier, Eliana helped direct the school play Alice in Wonderland, and also made a number of the costumes. We also battled some sickness during this time, as well as shortly after school ended. In the end, we both felt relieved when school ended, just to have some time to spend together to reenergize and rejuvenate.

Craig is currently finishing up at the school, attempting to get ready for someone else to teach the classes he taught next year, and Eliana has begun packing and getting ready for our return to North America. As many of you know, we will be flying out of Cochabamba June 29th, and arriving in Lynchburg, Virginia, on the 30th. We will be staying there for most of July, as Craig will be taking classes at Liberty University. We have been blessed in that a family that had been missionaries in Bolivia have opened their home to us for the month while we are there. Craig’s parents will be driving down to pick us up at the end of July, and we will be returning to Ontario around the first of August.

We are excited to announce that Craig officially accepted a job offer at the end of May. He will be teaching high school English at Grace Christian School in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. This has been a wonderful blessing, and we are very excited at the prospects of moving to Charlottetown and working with the school. We will be leaving Ontario for Charlottetown somewhere around the middle of August. We are currently trying to work out housing and other issues to do with our move.

This year has been a tremendous time of blessing for us. God has shown that He will provide for us in times of need, and that He truly does have a plan for us. We are going to miss Cochabamba, but we have a peace and excitement about what is coming up for us in both the near and distant future. We thank each of you for your support and prayers for us during this year, as we know that it is only through your support and God’s strength that we could accomplish the things that we have this year.

As we conclude our term here, we would ask that you continue to pray for us. There are some ways that you could specifically pray for us. We have been blessed with steady financial support throughout this year, however, with the end of our time here quickly approaching, we are still in need of approximately $800 to meet our yearly budget. We know that this amount can be raised, continue to trust that the funds will come in through whatever means God provides. Also, please pray for safety, rest, and security as we travel to Virginia, Ontario, and finally Prince Edward Island. This is going to be a busy summer for us, so prayers for strength would be appreciated.

Also, many have you have been praying for our friends the Lindquists, and their son, Josiah, who was suffering from an infection in his brain. He is doing much better, and has recovered from surgery much quicker than expected. They originally removed 20cc of infected liquid from his brain, and found that he actually had a strep infection. He is doing much better now, and is at home recovering with his family. Please continue to pray as they continue to battle the infection with antibiotics, and also as his family gets ready to return to their home in Pennsylvania.

Again, we would like to thank you for your continued prayer and financial support of us throughout this year. Our God is good. We are so thankful for being able to work here in Bolivia this year. We have been blessed to work with a wonderful team with CBM, as well as the team at Carachipampa Christian School. We know that God brought us here for many reasons, some that we can see now, and others that we may never see. However, His plans are wise, and He provides what we need.

Sincerely,

Craig & Eliana Allin

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So, we went to see Josiah today.  He’s been out of the hospital for a week now, and is enjoying being home. He was sleeping when we arrived and were unable to see him but were ableto catch up with his family.  The swelling is going down. Today, however, the family found out that the cavity where the infection was is not getting smaller as quickly as expected, and that there is some questionable fluids built up again.  The doctors are going to be using a needle to remove the fluid on Tuesday to see if it is pus or just spinal fluid. If the fluid is pus, he may have to undergo another procedure. Please pray that everything will be o.k. and also that the family would have the strength and patience to deal with whatever the results are. Also pray for Josiah as this is a scary time for him. We know that the Lord has everything in His hands.

So…all year I’ve been wanting to go fishing here in Bolivia.  The stories of surubi, which is a relative of the catfish, and river trout were too much for me to resist.  On Tuesday, myself, Chris (the other socials teacher) and his brother, Spencer, went with the Mencia’s into the jungles of the Chapare to get some fish.  It was a great trip except for one thing: it had been cold earlier in the week, so all the fish had migrated to warmer waters deeper in the jungle.  We got to the river, and there wasn’t even little bait-fish. We stayed for a couple hours, and saw some geckoes, a flock of parrots, and a river dolphin (which are the blind, pink version of their Flipper-esque cousins).  However, with no fish, we decided to return to another arroyo closer to Cochabamba.

This arroyo was a very busy place, with much of the small town surrounding it there to swim, bathe, and wash their clothes. We got there and had a good time in the afternoon swimming and catching small trout.  There was a hostal right beside this swimming hole, and we had a great fish supper of surubi and pacu, which could only have been better if we had caught the fish ourselves.  We set up our tents at the hostal, and fished for much of the night.  In the morning, we woke up and cleaned up, and returned to Cochabamba.  On the way back, it was very foggy as we climbed the far side of the mountain in our van, but clear on the other side.  We got back around 2pm, tired but having enjoyed our fishing trip that involved very little fishing.

Today we are going to the Mencia’s for lunch, which promises to be a delicious heaping plate of food.  Later tonight we are going out for supper with Chris and Erin, as they are leaving tomorrow to return to Montana on a short home-assignment.  It has been a great year getting to know them and having a lot of good times.  We are actually some of the last of our group left, as most of the teachers who are returning to North America have already left.

There is currently a group from Middle Sackville Baptist here on a short-term project with CBM.  Over half of the group is June’s cousin and his family, which is a really neat tie for us.  We got to go for breakfast with them earlier this week, and are looking forward to spending a little more time with them before they leave.

Anyways, I’m going to sign off on this post now.  I will try to post pictures later today.

-Craig

Here is a link to the Lindquist blog. They just posted an update of how the last couple weeks have been for them.  http://lindquistfamily.spaces.live.com/

Craig left this morning at 4:30 to go fishing in the Chapare (rainforest) for the next 2 days. He should be back Weds night with lots of stories to tell and pictures to share. He is going with one of his students, Franco Mencia, and his older brothers as well as Chris Sidmore (a fellow teacher at CCS) and Chris’ brother Spencer. He was so excited and I am certain this will be a great experience.


xoxo eliana

Good news!! Josiah is going home tomorrow!! We went to see him today and the bandages have been removed from his head. He has 16 stitches and his head resembles a baseball., but hes sneaking cookies when the nurses aren’t looking and very excited to go home. They will leave a “pick” in his arm and he will be returning to the hospital twice a day to receive medication, but apart from that will be home. God is good.

xoxo eliana

We went and visited Josiah yesterday and today. Even from yesterday to today we were able to see an improvement. He is doing so well and even cracking jokes and playing tricks on people.  A little over a month ago, Josiah was one of our star actors in Alice in Wonderland. 2 weeks ago he was suffering from powerful migraines, vomiting and hallucinating. A week ago, he had 20ccs (the size of a small lemon) of liquid removed from his brain followed by an induced coma.. A few days ago he was still hallucinating. The day before yesterday, his mom walked into his room and he exclaimed “HEY MOM! Wanna see the tunnel I’ve been digging?!?!” Molly sighed and resigned her self to another day of hallucinations and then Josiah said “Just kidding!!”  He is also throwing things at the garbage can across the room (which the nurses keep moving around the corner) and has full mobility, motor skills had been a concern before the surgery. So, praise the Lord, after this crazy ride he is healing quickly. Please continue to pray for him as he heals and is now being slowly weaned off of the intense pain medications he has been on. Also pray for patience for him as he is getting quite annoyed with the nurses and they are also probably getting annoyed with him!  Also continue to pray for Molly, Erick, Abbey, Joshua and Amelia: for restful sleep.

Here is a picture we took with Josiah today:

xoxo eliana


So, as Craig said, we are both sick to our stomaches again. It is uncomfortable for sure, but has become almost normal this year. We are looking forward to having happier tummies when we go back to Canada. I was thinking about being sick, I usually whine and complain, but in reality, Im not really that sick and really need to put things into perspective. The drastic change in Josiah’s life these last couple of weeks has done just that. He is now out of ICU and we plan on going to visit as soon as we are able. Please continue to pray for him and his family as the slow road to his recovery continues.

The last week has been a flurry of end of the year activities. I’ll post some pictures of some of the events we went to this last week…

xoxo eliana

So, we’ve got an announcement to make.  On Friday, I accepted a job offer from Grace Christian School in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  I will be teaching grades 7-12 English next year, as well as taking part in all of the other activities with life working in a school.  This school is a ministry of Grace Baptist Church, and in our conversations with the principal, pastor, and others, we have really felt led to Charlottetown upon our return to Canada.  This has been a real relief of stress for us, and an answer to prayer.

Our current schedule (which is definitely subject to change) is that we are leaving Bolivia on June 29th to arrive in Lynchburg, VA, on the 30th.  I will be taking classes at Liberty until July 25th.  My parents will then be driving down to pick us up, and returning to Kitchener, Ontario by August 1.  After that, we are hoping to begin moving to Charlottetown between the 14th and 21st of August.  Please continue to pray for us as we work through details with immigration here in Bolivia in our last few weeks, as well as for our time in Viriginia.  We are also currently looking for an apartment in Charlottetown in time for our move, which is difficult as we are not in the city to view them ourselves.

School is officially finished.  It was a crazy rush to the finish, but both I, Eliana, and all of the students survived.  I gave 4 exams, and also had 3 sets of papers due, which made my last week very hectic.  I was lucky to have a good friend help mark some of the papers, and Eliana helped mark some of the exams.  The report cards went out on Friday.

We also had a very good time at the Graduation happenings.  On Thursday night the school had the grad banquet, which was a time of dressing up and going for a meal at a resort that had been rented in town.  We were invited to sit at Rachel Fuller’s table.  It was a great time and a great meal.  On Friday there were two graduations: at 11am, the entire school was present to watch the Elementary final program and Grade 6 graduation. Then, Friday evening was the Grade 12 Graduation.  I had to sit up on stage in my suit, and it was very warm up there.  However, it was a good time nonetheless.  By the end of the ceremony, all of the teachers were very tired.

Saturday was a good day as well.  Saturday morning was spent (by me) playing raquetball and wallyball with the male teachers and some students.  Wallyball is basically a mashup of raquetball and volleyball.  Imagine a raquetball court with a volleyball net across the middle.  Then you play with 3 or 4 on each team, regular volleyball rules except you can hit the ball off one side wall, or your own roof or back wall.  I will admit that I enjoy regular volleyball better, but the raquetball and fellowship was very relaxing.

Sunday, I woke up sick again.  June’s professional nurse advice (as well as professional mother-in-law advice) is that because I was stressed out for a while, it lowered my immune system.  All I know is that I’m sick still today.  Hopefully I’ll be better by tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the good-bye barbecue for the school teachers.  I would hate to miss a Bolivian barbecue.

Anyways, I was “lucky” enough to get some end-of-year work emailed home so I can be sick and work at the same time.  So…I will sign off.  I think Eliana will be putting some more pictures up soon.

-Craig

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